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Farmers raise competition concerns at industry roundtable

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Farmer representatives from across Australia convened in Canberra yesterday for a roundtable hosted by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) with Assistant Minister for Competition Andrew Leigh.

Farmers raise competition concerns at industry roundtable

 

Farmer representatives from across Australia convened in Canberra yesterday for a roundtable hosted by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) with Assistant Minister for Competition Andrew Leigh.

The meeting came as the Federal Government continues its review of competition policy, and as supermarket pricing comes under increased scrutiny with a Senate inquiry set to commence in 2024.

NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said it was critical that the concerns of farmers were heard and acted on by the Albanese Government.

“Our members are increasingly frustrated by the imbalance in market power between small family farming businesses, and the large corporates that dominate Australia’s food supply chain,” Mr Mahar said.

“Yesterday’s roundtable was an opportunity for industry representatives to put their concerns directly to Government and hopefully get some momentum behind long overdue reform of Australia’s competition settings.

“What we heard is farmers are fed up with the lack of transparency, and worried about the continued consolidation of our supply chains.

“We’re encouraged by the Government’s response to these issues so far, but we know reform is hard, so we need to make sure we’re seeing meaningful changes to give farmers a fair go.”

Farmer representatives from across Australia convened in Canberra yesterday for a roundtable hosted by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) with Assistant Minister for Competition Andrew Leigh.

Farmer representatives from across Australia convened in Canberra yesterday for a roundtable hosted by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) with Assistant Minister for Competition Andrew Leigh.

Issues and policy suggestions highlighted at yesterday’s Roundtable include:

  • The need for significant competition reform to ensure a sustainable and profitable food production sector in Australia.
  • Market price transparency
    • A lack of market price transparency is having a significant impact across all agricultural industries, but particularly in horticulture.
    • Recent findings by AUSVEG suggest 34% of farmers surveyed nationally were considering exiting the industry within 12 months.
    • Farmers need to understand how the price they are paid is determined.
    • Specific issues include: a lack of transparency over factors which determine price, lack of contracts, lack of enforceability and accountability to contractual obligations, unfair trading practices and deceptive conduct.
    • The group discussed the utility of mandatory price disclosures and price reporting platforms.
  • Greater resourcing for the ACCC to ensure it has the capacity and powers to effectively monitor and proactively investigate highly concentrated markets with the potential to harm consumers and businesses.
  • Greenwashing and prescriptive reporting is already apparent in domestic supply chains. Farmers and industries are being proactive in this space, but with little to no reward.
    • The onus on farmers to provide additional data is significant – for example farmers in horticulture (banana growers) already report spending an additional $6,000-$8,000 on compliance reporting and audit processes with no increase in prices to reflect the additional cost.
    • Consumers and farmers alike need evidence to support the integrity, legitimacy, quality of prescriptive requirements imposed in the name of sustainability. This helps to ensure transparency, understanding and ultimately truth in labelling for consumers.
  • Industry Codes of Conduct are valuable but need teeth.
    • The Food and Grocery Code must be made mandatory to ensure wholesalers and retailers are held accountable and treat farmers fairly.
    • Fear of commercial retribution continues to be a significant barrier to farmers seeking justice and calling out unfair trading practices.
  • Agency Agreements – the roundtable discussed the growing use of agency agreements as a legal form of retail price maintenance and called for this to be outlawed

 

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Grants Propel Housing Delivery in Regional NSW

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Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund

Grants Propel Housing Delivery in Regional NSW

 

Nearly $3 million in funding from the NSW Government is set to expedite the delivery of almost 24,000 new regional homes, with 16 councils securing grants under the second round of the Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund. Ranging from the North Coast to the Central West and the Riverina, these councils will receive grants of up to $250,000 each.

The objective of these grants is to accelerate the delivery of new homes in regional areas through various strategies, including the formulation of housing plans, infrastructure preparation, and amendments to local environmental plans to facilitate the construction of diverse and affordable housing options.

As more individuals opt for regional NSW living, the demand for homes has increased, leading to rising prices and a shortage of available properties. Hence, bolstering regional housing supply is paramount.

These grants are part of a broader set of initiatives aimed at boosting regional housing supply, including the expansion of the Government’s Urban Development Program, the Regional Housing Flying Squad, the Regional Housing Fund, and the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund.

Together, these initiatives aim to streamline the planning process, support necessary infrastructure development, and aid regional councils in their housing-related endeavours.

Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund

16 councils securing grants under the second round of the Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund.

In Round 1 of the Regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund, $3.85 million was allocated to 20 projects across 19 councils. Notable projects include the Raymond Terrace Sub-Precincts Master Plan collaboration between Port Stephens Council and Homes NSW, aimed at expediting affordable housing supply.

Another project by Port Stephens Council focused on addressing development barriers such as drainage and flooding resilience in the Shoal Bay Precinct.

Armidale Regional Council, another recipient of Round 1 funding, successfully developed and implemented its Local Housing Strategy.
For further details on the councils receiving funding and their respective projects, interested parties can visit the NSW Planning website.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully emphasised the importance of supporting regional councils in expediting housing delivery for their communities. He highlighted the crucial role of regional NSW in the state’s housing supply landscape and underscored the government’s commitment to ensuring housing targets are met while also addressing future hazards.

 

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AI: Transforming Real Estate in Four Ways

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AI Transforming real estate

AI: Transforming Real Estate in Four Ways

 

In a world where AI reigns supreme, the real estate industry is undergoing a revolutionary transformation. Gone are the days of manual property searches and mundane tasks. AI is reshaping the landscape, empowering professionals, and enhancing customer experiences like never before.

Here are four ways AI is revolutionising real estate:

  1. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: AI-powered assistants engage with clients, address queries, and provide personalised recommendations, offering round-the-clock support. This frees up professionals’ time to focus on high-value tasks, leading to unparalleled customer experiences.
  2. Empowered Property Search: AI algorithms analyse vast amounts of data to deliver accurate insights and personalised recommendations, streamlining the property search process. Buyers and professionals can make more informed decisions quickly, aligning with customer demands.
  3. Better Data for Investors: AI simplifies property valuation and risk assessment by analysing real-time data and identifying patterns. Investors can make informed decisions based on predictive analytics, ensuring profitable investments in a dynamic market.
  4. Simplified Property Management: AI-driven smart home technologies automate routine tasks, monitor energy consumption, and detect maintenance issues in real-time. This streamlines property management, reduces costs, and optimises property performance.
AI Transforming real estate

In a world where AI reigns supreme, the real estate industry is undergoing a revolutionary transformation.

AI is not only transforming real estate operations but also propelling the industry into predictive analytics. By leveraging historical data and market trends, AI algorithms forecast future property prices and demand, empowering professionals to seize profitable opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. With AI, the future of real estate looks promising.

 

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2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Unveiled: A Powerhouse Upgrade Ready to Conquer Australian Roads

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2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Unveiled: A Powerhouse Upgrade Ready to Conquer Australian Roads

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Toyota Australia is gearing up for the highly anticipated launch of the 2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado, set to hit the market with a range of new features and enhancements aimed at solidifying its position as a top contender in the SUV segment. With a mid-year launch on the horizon, the automaker has revealed key details about the upcoming Prado, including its variant line-up and advanced drivetrain specifications.

The new Prado will boast five distinct grades, catering to a wide range of preferences and driving needs. From the entry-level GX to the top-tier Kakadu spec, buyers can expect a comprehensive selection of options. Notably, the line-up will introduce an all-new ‘Altitude’ variant, specially designed for off-road enthusiasts seeking enhanced performance and rugged capabilities.

  1. “Toyota Takes the Lead: 2024 Toyota Prado Firming Up for Mid-2024 Launch”
  2. “Hybrid Heartache: All-New Toyota LandCruiser Prado to Stick with Diesel Until 2025″
  3. “2024 Toyota Prado Pioneers Off-Road Innovation: A Challenger to the 4×4 Throne?”
2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Interior.

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado Interior.

Under the hood, the 2024 Prado will feature a formidable 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder powertrain, equipped with innovative 48-volt assistance technology. This cutting-edge drivetrain, shared with the face lifted HiLux, delivers robust performance with 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque, paired with an efficient eight-speed automatic transmission. Furthermore, Toyota assures drivers of exceptional towing capability, with the Prado capable of handling a 3500kg braked trailer.

In terms of design and technology, each Prado variant comes packed with an array of premium features aimed at maximising comfort, convenience, and driving pleasure. LED headlights, a 12.3-inch multimedia screen with wireless smartphone connectivity, and a 10-speaker audio system are just a few highlights available across the range. Additionally, specific grades offer luxurious touches such as heated and ventilated seats, a refrigerated console box, and advanced driver assistance systems for enhanced safety and control.

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado

2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado

Toyota Australia’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, expressed excitement about the upcoming release, emphasising the Prado’s longstanding legacy of reliability and performance. He highlighted the vehicle’s versatility in catering to diverse lifestyles and adventures, reaffirming Toyota’s commitment to delivering top-tier SUVs that meet the evolving needs of Australian consumers.

With pricing details yet to be announced, anticipation is high for the arrival of the 2024 Toyota LandCruiser Prado. As drivers prepare to embark on new journeys and conquer challenging terrains, Toyota’s latest offering promises to set a new standard for excellence in the SUV market. Stay tuned for more updates and information as the launch date approaches.

Details will be confirmed closer to the Prado’s launch in mid-2024.

 

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